Brown peas or black eyed peas (canned is O.K.) – 1 cup
white pumpkin – cubed – 1 cup
yellow pumpkin – cubed – 1 cup
green chilies – 2 or 3, sliced
coconut milk – 1 can (1 1/2 cups)
curry leaves – a few
salt to taste

Cook the peas (if using dry variety). Add the pumpkins to the peas with some water and salt and simmer on a low fire. Add the green chilies. Finally add the coconut milk and curry leaves, heat for a minute and remove from fire.

Source: Maya Nair

Mizhukku puratti (Vegetable fry)

green beans – 1 inch lengths – 2 cups
plantains or green bananas – cubed – 1 cup
salt to taste

Lots and Lots of oil (just kidding – 3 teaspoons oil)

Soak the plantains in warm water and turmeric. Drain well and cook with salt.

Cook the beans separately in a little water. ( Zap it to save time – add a half cup of water and salt, cover and mwave it at high for 4 to 6 minutes).

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the beans (drain off any water left), Stir for a minute and then add the plantains. Stir till nice and browned.

hint: This curry may be made with any cooked vegetable.
Source: Maya Nair

Fish moilly (malay fish curry)

This dish is a traditional Kerala take on Malay fish curry.

Per Madhur Jaffrey’s Flavours of India: “Noted for its abundance of fish, Kerala cuisine is fragrant with coconut and spices. The recipe for Fish moilly is particularly delicious.

Kerala, which nestles along India’s south-western coast, has a warm, sunny climate and rich tropical greenery. The name means “the land of the coconuts”, and these are prized not only commercially, but also in the kitchen. They are an important ingredient in many Kerala dishes, like this delicious fish dish. Traditionally made with seer fish – kingfish steaks – it works as well with cod steaks or halibut or haddock fillets. In Kerala, this dish is served with rice, but you may serve it with boiled potatoes and a salad.”

About 1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 lb (450g) fish steaks or fillets, cut into 2 inch cubes
4 Tbs. coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 medium large red onion finely sliced
6 fresh hot green chilies finely sliced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
About 30 fresh curry leaves, if available
7 fl oz (1 cup) coconut milk, well stirred from a can or fresh
2 Tbs. lime juice

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric together. Rub over the fish. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large wide, non-stick pan or wok over a medium heat. When hot add the onion, chilies and ginger. Stir once or twice. Add the curry leaves. Stir and fry for three to four minutes until the onion is soft.

Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder and 5 fl oz (3/4 cup) water. Mix well. When the mixture boils add the fish. Spoon the sauce over the fish.

Add 3/4 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat down. Cover and simmer for four to five minutes, spooning the sauce over the fish and shaking the pan gently to prevent sticking.

Add the coconut milk, shake pan and add more salt if needed. Cover and simmer for a further three to four minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Add the lime juice.

Shake again and remove from the heat, then serve.

Chile Chutney

10 fresh red New Mexico chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded & stemmed
10-12 almonds or cashews
1 lump tamarind pulp about the size of a small lime
1 1/2 Tbs. raisins
1 tsp salt
1 small onion, minced

Grind the first five ingredients together, preferably to a fine paste, and store in a jar for a week. When about to use, add the minced onion and mix well. Yield: 1-2 cups. Delicious with rice dishes.

Note: This chutney, from one of India’s southernmost states, taste better once it has been stored a week.

Manga kari (Mango pickle I)

green mango – 1
medium chili powder – 2 tablespoon (Ayyo!)
mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
methi seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
hing powder – 1 teaspoon
curry leaves (fresh – yummm!)

Cut the mango into small pieces. In a pan, add the oil and pop the mustard seeds.

Add the mangos and saute for a few minutes. Roast the methi seeds and grind to a powder (this acts as a preservative).

Add this to the manga and also add the the rest of the stuff.

hint: Mix the chopped mango with salt and store it in a glass jar for a couple of days before this curry is made.

Source: Maya Nair

Mango Achar (Mango pickle II)

Mangoes – 2 Cut into small square pieces
chili pwd – 4 T
salt – 3T
Asafoetida – 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric pwd – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Oil -1 T

Heat oil in a pan. To that add mustard seeds. When it pops reduce heat to low and add chili pwd, salt, asafoetida, turmeric and stir fry about 3 min. Turn off the heat. Let it cool for a while.

Add this mixture to the cut mangoes and mix thoroughly. Keep this for 7-8 days for the flavour to seep into mangoes. You can add a little bit of distilled vinegar if you like. It will help to keep the freshness.
Source: Hem Ramachandran